Annual “Turkey Trot” promotes spirit of giving

by Jin Tuan and Varsha Rammohan

Dressed in iconic Turkey Trot shirts, a mass of runners crowd the starting line, rub their palms together and prepare to run in the chilly hours of Thanksgiving morning.

The annual Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot will occur on Nov. 23 in downtown San Jose; a “Turkey Trot” is a race that is held around Thanksgiving. The first Turkey Trot was the YMCA Buffalo Trot, held in New York in 1896.

Turkey Trots are light-hearted compared to other footraces; they are a time for friends and family to come together, wear costumes and hopefully burn off some calories before Thanksgiving dinner.

“Turkey Trot supports Second Harvest Food Bank, and they raise money and raise food to feed people in need, so it’s raising awareness and all the other things as well, so that’s what’s important,” Community Service Director Kerry Enzensperger said.

The Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot is the largest trot in the country with 28,000 participants.

Donations surpassed $6.9 million over the last 12 years. The beneficiaries are the Healthier Kids Foundation, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Health Trust.

“[Turkey Trot] is definitely a good way to promote bonding because you meet new people,” said Mihir Sharma (10), who participated last year.

Turkey Trot is produced by volunteers from Silicon Valley Leadership Foundation, the City of San Jose, Santa Clara County, Applied Materials and the Central Labor Council.

Runners are encouraged to donate through the Turkey Trot webpage. Second Harvest Food Bank is also looking for volunteers to assist on race day.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on November 16, 2017.